KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 — Since its opening two years ago, Nutmeg has become a firm favourite with diners. The place is never empty, no matter what time of the day you go... and weekends are especially busy.
Although they have always had a special of the day, they have not given their menu an overhaul until recently.
A month and a half ago (or thereabouts), chef and co-owner William Chong introduced a new menu for Nutmeg – adding a variety of delicious options including a full dinner menu. In just two years, the menu has tripled and every weekend, you can choose from the 20 cakes and desserts.
“People get bored easily so I’m always introducing new cakes. I like it to be exciting,” said Chong who comes up with a new cake flavour every week. “Right now, I have two goals. To bake cakes featuring every fruit possible and cakes based on candies.”
Yes, Maltesers, Snickers, Kit Kat and so on. Most of the cakes are sold out during the weekends so on weekdays you may not find that many cakes available. The Maltesers and Snickers cakes were introduced as recently as the new menu items. All the cakes at Nutmeg are served with vanilla ice-cream.
The restaurant is owned by brothers-in-law William Chong and Gordon Yip who also introduced Dash of Nutmeg and Feast, offering different dining concepts to their growing fanbase, in the same shopping mall.
One of the new things on the menu are the platters.
“The platters are meant for sharing but if you want, you can also have it all to yourself,” Chong said. Shared plates or platters are becoming quite common in restaurants now, he added. The reason why Nutmeg is introducing it is because Chong notices that customers do come in groups when they dine at Nutmeg. “It is good for a small party or gathering.”
There are five platters with one of them a vegetarian option. Prices are also reasonable: from RM20 to RM32.
A must-try is The Nutmeg Platter which re-introduces classic favourites in a new form. You’ve got the mac and cheese done Nutmeg-style: deep fried and paired with a chilli sauce. Then there are the lamb and chicken sausages which is a breakfast and brunch favourite. But one of the items on the platter that is sure to wow you is the deep-fried pickled chilli with cheese.
“It is like our own version of the yong tau foo,” said Chong. The deep-fried pickled chilli with cheese has got the crunch, the slightly sour taste of pickled chilli and savoury taste of the creamy cheese.
Last but not least are the devils on horsebacks. “Our popular baked salt beef is wrapped around dates with almonds inside,” explained Chong.
Besides platters, Nutmeg’s new menu has some new dinner items such as the Molten Omelette.
“The Molten Omelette is arancini, which is like a deep-fried risotto wrapped in omelette with cream spinach at the bottom. The risotto is made from barley. The dish is then topped with Uma’s shallot mix which gives it a kick,” said Chong. Uma’s shallot mix is a recipe given to them by a customer and in gratitude the shallot mix is named after her. How cool is that.
This dish is amazing and surprisingly very filling. You get the crunch from the arancini and the liquid feel from the molten egg. Soon, there will be a non-vegetarian version of this dish that features smoked chicken ham.
Another signature from the new menu is Snow White and the Seven Vegetables.
“It is literally what it is named, scrambled egg whites with seven types of vegetables,” said Chong. The vegetables are red and yellow peppers, yellow and green zucchini, tomato, eggplant, mushroom. Chong adds Gruyere cheese on top of the scrambled egg whites to add flavour to the dish. Despite it sounding very healthy, the Snow White and Seven Vegetable is yummy.
As for sides that go with the mains, garlic mashed potatoes are now replaced by potato wedges but you can still order garlic mashed potatoes on the side. Previously, there was only one type of sauce for the chicken but Chong wanted to make things interesting so there is a different sauce for every chicken dish.
“Our Roast Chicken now comes in black pepper sauce while the Grilled Chicken comes with creamed spinach. The Pan Seared Chicken is accompanied with five peppercorn and the Chicken Maryland comes with mushroom sauce,” said Chong.
There are other little surprises in the new menu as well: the clever introduction of local vegetable pucuk paku and grains like barley add a new taste dimension to dishes.
While expanding the menu, Chong found it difficult to take out some of the old menu items because a lot of the items are customer favourites. He did take out hotcakes. “I didn’t like to eat it myself because they were not fluffy enough,” explained Chong. Chong wants to perfect the hotcakes recipe before he re-introduces it again in the future. Another thing that is no longer in the menu is building your own omelette.
Funnily, even though it is no longer available, customers still order it and Nutmeg would serve it. “The reason why I took it out was because our customers were spoilt for choice and they didn’t know what to order.” The option to build your own omelette was replaced by Omelette Deluxe which comes with a prawn bisque and another dish, the Salsa Omelette.
A lot of Nutmeg’s customers are loyal so they go there very regularly. There are some who have tried everything on the menu, and even all the cakes!
UGF-28A, Bangsar Village II, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.
Opens daily from 9.30am to 10pm.